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Israel settlers spitting on Palestinian cars raises concern over attempt to spread coronavirus

April 6, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Israeli settlers in the West Bank, 31 August 2010 [Mamoun Wazwaz/ApaImages}

Israeli settlers have been accused of trying to spread the coronavirus in Palestinian neighbourhoods by spitting on cars in a West Bank village.

Residents of the village of Beit Iksa, northwest of occupied Jerusalem, reported the shocking incident last week of Israeli settlers spitting on vehicles travelling into and out of the village which is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements.

Speaking to Palestinian WAFA news agency residents described how settlers from Ramot settlement, build on land belonging to Beit Iksa in violation of international law, stood at the entrance to the village and started to spit on Palestinian cars entering or leaving the village in an attempt to spread the coronavirus.

READ: Israel settlements turn Palestinian house into cage

A group of youths from the village are said to have confronted the settlers and forced them to leave the area and then disinfected the road and cars.

Ramot settlement has reported 17 cases of coronavirus out of its overall population of 550 people. Settlers from Ramot are notorious for harassing local Palestinians. They are often seen vandalising cars belonging to Palestinian and spraying racists slogans on their properties.

Coronavirus spreading in the Middle East - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus spreading in the Middle East – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

In a separate incident Israeli soldiers were also accused of deliberately trying to spread coronavirus by spitting on cars and homes belonging to Palestinians.

Dozens of Israeli occupation forces stormed several neighbourhoods in the West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) during which they deliberately spat on the doors of Palestinian homes and cars according to the Palestinian Chronicle.

READ: Nearly 1,600 trees vandalised by Israel settlers in the West Bank since start of 2020

Eyewitnesses reported seeing Israeli soldiers intentionally and repeatedly spitting at cars, walls and doorsteps. In one instance the image of an Israeli soldier spitting on a car was captured on video.

Fearing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Palestinians rushed to sterilise the places which the soldiers spat at following their withdrawal.

Israel is one of the hardest hit in the region by the coronavirus. One town affected by the pandemic is believed to have a 38 per cent infection rate which prompted the government to seal the territory. With over a million jobless, the country’s unemployment rate jumped 527 per cent last week.